Splendid play earns Andrew top prize

LURGAN golfers competed in the Royal British Legion charity competition last Saturday.

There is always a good turn out for this particular competition and this year’s competition was no exception. There was considerable rain on the previous two days but remarkably the course held up and the greens were in great shape. The green staff’s hard work is paying great dividends and members appreciate their contribution.

With Captain’s Day just around the corner the course is shaping up to be in pristine condition. The white markers were at the back of tees and this provided the golfers with a serious test during the day. Out of the two hundred and forty entries approximately fourteen per cent of the field managed a return better than par.

The main winner of the Royal British Legion tournament was Andrew Campbell. This eighteen handicapper had a wonderful 45 points on his card. He played splendidly over both sides of the course.

A birdie at the eighth and pars at holes one, two, four and five proved the mainstay of his front nine play. On the inward nine further birdies came his way at holes ten and fourteen. In addition he notched par figures on holes twelve, fifteen and seventeen. Whilst he had nothing on the third and double bogeys on holes six and eleven he nevertheless posted a winning nine under par effort on the day.

Runner-up in the competition was Conor Wilson with a pleasing effort of 42 points.

This fourteen handicapper had a solid opening nine where pars at holes two, four, five, six and eight dominated his scoring. His game improved on the homeward nine thanks to five more pars and a birdie at the fifteenth. Holes ten, twelve, thirteen, sixteen and seventeen were the par holes. His strong back nine proved crucial.

The third net prize went to Paul Rippon. This seventeen handicapper had a similar card of 42 points. A birdie at the fourth and pars at holes one, two, seven, eight and nine signalled his early intent. A quartet of pars at holes ten, twelve, fifteen and eighteen eased him into third place.

The gross prize in the competition went to Christopher Watt. This two handicapper prevailed with a tally of 33 gross points.

His outward nine comprised pars at holes one, five, seven and eight to go along with bogeys on the other five holes. He was superb on the back nine and covered it in two under gross. He posted birdies on holes fourteen and eighteen and managed par figures everywhere else. Conall Coleman and Andrew Shaw also were bracketed on scores of 33 points.

In the low section twenty two golfers recorded under par scores in the competition. It was Ronan Smyth who took the honours with a timely effort of 40 points.

Needless to say that this ten handicapper played well on both sides of the course. He looked the part through nine holes with seven pars and two bogeys on his card. Holes one and six were the bogey holes. He continued to impress on the back nine with useful pars on holes ten, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, seventeen and eighteen. A triple bogey on the twelfth was his only crisis hole. This spirited play earned him the category prize.

In the middle section nine competitors achieved scores better than the par. A total of 39 points provided.

Patrick O’Neill with the section award. This fourteen handicapper had a modest front nine with pars at holes one, two and nine. A double bogey on the fourth didn’t do him any favours either. However he upped his game on the important back nine. A quintet of pars at holes ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen and seventeen got him successfully over the line.

Finally in the high section only three competitors attained under par returns.

The winner in this grouping was Greg McGurk with a timely 39 points. Greg had valiant par figures at holes one, four and ten. A birdie at the twelfth was another fruitful score for this twenty three handicapper. Perhaps four double bogeys on his card hindered him from an even higher placing.

The other under par scoring came from the following:

39 pts: Billy Hughes, Kieran Magee, Gary McKee, Andrew Shaw, Eugene Greene, Walter Simpson.

38 pts: Gerard Henderson, Morris Lyness, Ben McKnight, Kenny Hanna.

37 pts: Conall Coleman, Kevin Hamill, Neale McKinstry, Paul Mulgrew, James McConville, Richard Torode, Ian Hamilton, Noel Stewart, John Richardson.